News

May 2017

A research team led by EE professor Jelena Vuckovic, has spent the past several years working toward the development of nanoscale lasers and quantum technologies that might someday enable conventional computers to communicate faster and more securely using light instead of electricity. Vuckovic and her team, including Kevin Fischer, a doctoral candidate and lead author of a paper describing the project, believe that a modified nanoscale laser can be used to efficiently generate quantum light for fully protected quantum communication. "Quantum networks have the potential for secure end-to-end communication wherein the information channel is secured by the laws of quantum physics," states PhD candidate Kevin Fischer.

Signal processing is helping the IoT and other network technologies to operate faster, more efficiently, and very reliably. Advanced research also promises to open new opportunities in key areas, such as highly secure communication and various types of wireless networks.

The biggest challenge the researchers have faced so far is dealing with the fact that quantum light is far weaker than the rest of the light emitted by a modified laser, making it difficult to detect. Addressing this obstacle, the team developed a method to filter out the unwanted light, enabling the quantum signal to be read much better. "Some of the light coming back from the modified laser is like noise, preventing us from seeing the quantum light," Fischer says. "We canceled it out to reveal and emphasize the quantum signal hidden beneath."

Despite being a promising demonstration of revealing the quantum light, the technique is not yet ready for large-scale deployment. The Vuckovic group is working on scaling the technique for reliable application in a quantum network.

 

Excerpted from "A Networking Revolution Powered by Signal Processing," IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, January 2017.
Read full article (opens PDF)

April 2017

Professor emeritus Thomas Kailath received an Honorary Degree from National Technical University of Athens.

In a letter from Nectarios Koziris, Professor and Dean of the School, the announcement reads "[...] it is a great honor to announce to you that the School's assembly has unanimously decided to confer on you an Honorary Doctorate Degree. Please consider that as our School's token of appreciation for your lifetime accomplishments that benefited science and added a valuable arrow in the quiver of the people who decided in their lives to attack the big problems."

 

Congratulations to Tom on his many important achievements!

May 2017

"Quantum computing is ideal for studying biological systems, doing cryptography or data mining – in fact, solving any problem with many variables," states Professor Jelena Vuckovic"When people talk about finding a needle in a haystack, that's where quantum computing comes in."

 In her own studies of nearly 20 years,  Vuckovic has focused on one aspect of the challenge: creating new types of quantum computer chips that would become the building blocks of future systems.

"To fully realize the promise of quantum computing we will have to develop technologies that can operate in normal environments," she said. "The materials we are exploring bring us closer toward finding tomorrow's quantum processor."

The challenge for Vuckovic's team is developing materials that can trap a single, isolated electron. Working with collaborators worldwide, they have recently tested three different approaches to the problem, one of which can operate at room temperature – a critical step if quantum computing is going to become a practical tool.

In all three cases the group started with semiconductor crystals, material with a regular atomic lattice like the girders of a skyscraper. By slightly altering this lattice, they sought to create a structure in which the atomic forces exerted by the material could confine a spinning electron.

"We are trying to develop the basic working unit of a quantum chip, the equivalent of the transistor on a silicon chip," states Vuckovic. "We don't know yet which approach is best, so we continue to experiment."

 

 

 

Excerpted from the Stanford News, "Stanford team brings quantum computing closer to reality with new materials".

Photo credit: Amanda Law

May 2017

Electrical Engineering staff recognized for their outstanding effort include Fely Barrera, Daisy Chavez, John DeSilva and Helen Niu. Each were nominated by peers, faculty and/or students for professionalism that went above and beyond their everyday roles. Gift card recipients continue to make profound and positive impact in EE's everyday work and academic environment.

 

Please join us in congratulating Fely, Daisy, John and Helen. Excerpts from their nominations follow.

 

Fely Barrera, Administrative Associate

  • "Fely's willingness to help is greatly appreciated."
  • "She is a great resource for all of my questions."

Daisy Chavez, Graduate Admissions Specialist & Student Life Coordinator

  • "Daisy's support of student organizations, like WEE and OSA, is great! She clarifies everything and is willing to help us."
  • "She ensures our admissions process goes smoothly, all the while being a pleasure to work."

John DeSilva, Systems & Network Manager

  • "John is the definition of reliability!"
  • "He is always available, with endless patience for every question and need."

Helen Niu, Administrative Associate

  • "Helen is a pleasure to work with; she's resourceful and energetic."
  • "She is efficient, patient, and provides significant value to our research."

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

Nominate a deserving staff person or group today! We encourage you to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in your daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

April 2017

The Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Award for Scholastic Achievement has been awarded to six EE undergraduates. The Terman Award is one of the most selective academic awards. It is based on overall academic performance and is presented to the top five percent of each year's School of Engineering seniors. The 2016-2017 Terman Scholars include six undergraduate seniors from Electrical Engineering.

Terman scholars are invited to attend a celebratory luncheon and encouraged to invite the most influential secondary school or other pre-college teacher who guided them during the formative stages of their academic career.  

Congratulations to all of the Terman Award recipients.

The Electrical Engineering seniors are:

• Darren Hau

• Min Cheol Kim

• Chayakorn Pongsiri

• Peter Franklin Satterthwaite

• Nick John Sovich

• Vivian Wang

The award is named after Fred Terman who was the fourth Dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford, serving from 1944-1958, after which he became the Provost at the University, and is generally credited, along with President Wally Sterling, as having started the process that has led Stanford to its present position among the leading universities of the world.

 

Pictured above are the 2017 Terman Award recipients with their most influencial teacher. (Image credit: Stanford School of Engineering)

 

Learn more about Frederick E. Terman on the EE History timeline. 

Terman image credit, Stanford Historical Photograph Collection.

 

April 2017

At the invitation of the Optical Society of America (OSA), professor Jelena Vuckovic (also a Fellow of the OSA since 2015) hosted a Reddit Science Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. The session was primarily directed to students, but the format allows anyone to post a question.

The Reddit format introduced Jelena and her research in the areas of nanophotonics, quantum optics, nonlinear optics, quantum information technologies and optoelectronics. During the afternoon session, Jelena provided answers to more than 25 Reddit users who posted questions. The discussion thread will remain on Reddit, and can be viewed at: www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/5ssbx2/science_ama_series_im_dr_jelena_vuckovic/

AMAs (short for 'Ask Me Anything') were created by the Reddit community as an opportunity for interesting individuals to field questions about anything – and everything! AMAs hosted on Reddit have succeeded in becoming an exciting platform for people to have direct discussions and gain insight into the lives of unique individuals, with some of the historically most-popular AMAs including those from President Barack Obama, Sir David Attenborough, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and many others.

In an effort to bring science education to the public, the Reddit Science community (known as /r/Science) has created an independent, science-focused AMA Series – the Science AMA Series. Their goal is to encourage discussion and facilitate outreach while helping to bridge the gap between practicing scientists and the general public. The series is open to any practicing research scientist, or group of scientists, that wants to have a candid conversation with the large and diverse Reddit Science community.

 

 

April 2017

The paper, "Packet switching in radio channels: Part I – carrier sense multiple-access modes and their throughput-delay characteristics" was coauthored by professor Fouad Tobagi and Len Kleinrock in 1975.

The award citation reads, "A pioneering contribution to the early days of wireless packet networks that is on the reading list of any student interested in the foundation of media access control in packet radio networks. This paper makes a fundamental contribution to the development of carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) that underpins the wireless edge today."

The SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time awards recognize papers that have had a sustained and significant impact in the SIGMOBILE community over at least a decade. The award recognizes that a paper's influence is often not fully apparent at the time of publication, and it can be best judged with the perspective of time.

The ToT awards were presented at the 22nd Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking in New York. A half-day session was dedicated to this award comprising presentations and a "Future Mobile Panel" with the several ToT authors.

Professor Tobagi works on network control mechanisms for handling multimedia traffic (voice, video and TCP- based applications) and on the performance assessment of networked multimedia applications using user-perceived quality measures. He also investigates the design of wireless networks, including QoS-based media access control and network resource management, as well as network architectures and infrastructures for the support of mobile users, all meeting the requirements of multimedia traffic. He also investigates the design of metropolitan and wide area networks combining optical and electronic networking technologies, including topological design, capacity provisioning, and adaptive routing.

 

Congratulations to Fouad on this well-deserved recognition.

 

April 2017

Andrea Goldsmith has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the country's oldest and most prestigious honorary learned societies. The 2017 class includes some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists and civic, business and philanthropic leaders.

"It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership," said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy's Board of Directors. "Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the Academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation."

Members of the 2017 class include winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize; MacArthur Fellows; Fields Medalists; Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients; and Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award winners.

"In a tradition reaching back to the earliest days of our nation, the honor of election to the American Academy is also a call to service," said Academy President Jonathan F. Fanton. "Through our projects, publications, and events, the Academy provides members with opportunities to make common cause and produce the useful knowledge for which the Academy's 1780 charter calls."

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 7, 2017, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing—and opportunities available to—the nation and the world. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies in science, engineering, and technology policy; global security and international affairs; the humanities, arts, and education; and American institutions and the public good.

Please join us in congratulating Andrea for this very well deserved recognition of her work!

 

American Academy of Arts & Sciences Press Release

April 2017

In partnership with SiriusXM, Stanford University launched Stanford Radio, a new university-based pair of radio programs. The programs are produced in collaboration with the School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Education.

"The Future of Everything" is from the School of Engineering and "School's In" is from the Graduate School of Education.

 

In this segment, Audrey discusses her research on at home urinalysis, photonics, and optics.

Undergrad Vivian Wang (BS '17) is a 2017 Churchill Scholarship winner
March 2017

Congratulations to Vivian Wang (BS '17) on her well-deserved award!

As an undergraduate, Vivian has been involved in numerous events on campus. She is a former co-director, and teacher, of Stanford Splash, which brings middle and high school students to campus to learn from Stanford students. Vivian has taught Splash courses since 2014. Her most recent course was "Sewable Electronics."

Vivian has also been a teaching assistant for two of the department's most popular courses, "An Intro to Making: What is EE" and "Digital Systems Design". She was selected through a competitive process, to be a peer tutor in math and physics. Vivian also participated in EE's REU program, doing research, and eventually co-authoring a paper with Professor Jim Harris. Vivian has also worked as an undergraduate research assistant for Professor Amin Arbabian.

"I am grateful for the research and other experiences Stanford has provided me thus far and look forward to the scientific and cultural opportunities provided through the Churchill Scholarship," Wang said.

The goal of the Churchill Scholarships program, established at the request of Sir Winston Churchill, is to advance science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic, helping to ensure future prosperity and security.

 

Excerpted from Stanford News article, "Stanford electrical engineering senior wins Churchill Scholarship"

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February 2014

Three staff members each received a $50 Visa card in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as part of the department’s 2014 Staff Gift Card Bonus Program. The EE department received several nominations in January, and nominations from 2013 were also considered.

Following are January’s gift card recipients and some of the comments from their nominators:

Ann Guerra, Faculty Administrator

  • “She is very kind to students and always enthusiastic to help students… every time we need emergent help, she is willing to give us a hand.”
  • “Ann helps anyone who goes to her for help with anything, sometimes when it’s beyond her duty.” 

Teresa Nguyen, Student Accounting Associate

  • “She stays on top of our many, many student financial issues, is an extremely reliable source of information and is super friendly.”
  • “Teresa’s cheerful disposition, her determination, and her professionalism seem to go above and beyond what is simply required.”

Helen Niu, Faculty Administrator

  • “Helen is always a pleasure to work with.”
  • “She goes the extra mile in her dealings with me, which is very much appreciated.”

The School of Engineering once again gave the EE department several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond. More people will be recognized next month, and past nominations will still be eligible for future months. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visitinghttps://gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.

Ann Guerra  Teresa Nguyen  Helen Niu

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